Department of Agriculture (41 - 50 of 2,039 items)
International Food Assistance: Cargo Preference Increases Food Aid Shipping Costs, and Benefits Are Unclear
GAO-15-666: Published: Aug 26, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 2015.
Cargo preference for food aid (CPFA) requirements increased the overall cost of shipping food aid by an average of 23 percent, or $107 million, over what the cost would have been had CPFA requirements not been applied from April 2011 through fiscal year 2014. Moreover, differences in the implementation of CPFA requirements by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Departmen...
Regulatory Guidance Processes: Agencies Could Benefit from Stronger Internal Control Practices
GAO-15-834T: Published: Sep 23, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 23, 2015.
What is regulatory guidance? One of the main purposes of guidance is to explain and help regulated parties comply with agencies' regulations. Even though not legally binding, guidance documents can have a significant effect on regulated entities and the public, both because of agencies' reliance on large volumes of guidance documents and because the guidance can prompt changes in the behavior of r...
Wildland Fire Management: Agencies Have Made Several Key Changes but Could Benefit from More Information about Effectiveness
GAO-15-772: Published: Sep 16, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 16, 2015.
Since 2009, the five federal agencies responsible for wildland fire management—the Forest Service within the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Park Service in the Department of the Interior—have made several key changes in their approach to wildland fire management. One key change was the issuance of a...
Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Numbers of Contaminated Federal Sites, Estimated Costs, and EPA's Oversight Role
GAO-15-830T: Published: Sep 11, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 2015.
The Departments of Agriculture (USDA), the Interior, Defense (DOD), and Energy (DOE) have identified thousands of contaminated and potentially contaminated sites on land they manage but do not have a complete inventory of sites, in particular, for abandoned mines. GAO reported in January 2015 that USDA had identified 1,491 contaminated sites and many potentially contaminated sites. However, USDA d...
Managing for Results: Greater Transparency Needed in Public Reporting on the Quality of Performance Information for Selected Agencies' Priority Goals
GAO-15-788: Published: Sep 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Sep 10, 2015.
The six agencies GAO reviewed generally did not publicly report on how they ensured the accuracy and reliability of performance information used to measure progress on their highest priority performance goals, referred to as agency priority goals (APGs). The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) requires agencies to identify the following when publicly reporting on their APGs: 1) how performance...
Managing for Results: Practices for Effective Agency Strategic Reviews
GAO-15-602: Published: Jul 29, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 29, 2015.
GAO identified seven practices federal agencies can employ to facilitate effective strategic reviews and illustrated aspects of those practices through examples from the strategic review processes conducted at the Departments of Agriculture (USDA), Education (Education), Homeland Security (DHS), and Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Nationa...
Biosurveillance: Additional Planning, Oversight, and Coordination Needed to Enhance National Capability
GAO-15-664T: Published: Jul 8, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 8, 2015.
In June 2010, GAO reported that there was neither a comprehensive national strategy nor a designated focal point with the authority and resources to guide development of a national biosurveillance capability. Further, in October 2011, GAO reported that states and local agencies faced challenges in developing and maintaining their biosurveillance capabilities, such as obtaining resources for an ade...
Managing for Results: Agencies Report Positive Effects of Data-Driven Reviews on Performance but Some Should Strengthen Practices
GAO-15-579: Published: Jul 7, 2015. Publicly Released: Jul 7, 2015.
The GPRA Modernization Act of 2010 (GPRAMA) requires that federal agencies review progress on agency priority goals (APG) at least once a quarter. GPRAMA requires that reviews be conducted by top agency leaders, involve APG goal leaders and other contributors, and be used to identify at-risk goals and strategies to improve performance. While GPRAMA requires that agencies conduct reviews, it also r...
Farm Program Modernization: Farm Service Agency Needs to Demonstrate the Capacity to Manage IT Initiatives
GAO-15-506: Published: Jun 18, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 18, 2015.
The key factors that led to the decision to halt the Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems (MIDAS) program were poor program performance and uncertainty regarding future plans. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) experienced significant cost overruns and schedule delays, deferred the majority of the envisioned features, skipped key tests, and deployed software in April 2013 that wa...
Older Americans Act: Updated Information on Unmet Need for Services
GAO-15-601R: Published: Jun 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 15, 2015.
Per 2013 data, many older adults with low incomes who likely need meals services do not receive them. An estimated 90 percent of low-income older adults (those age 60 and older with incomes below 185 percent of the poverty threshold) do not receive meals services like those funded by Older Americans Act (OAA) Title III programs, according to GAO's analysis of 2013 Current Population Survey (CPS) d...